Tag Archives: Sen. Joe Manchin

Dem West Virginia Senate Candidate Emerges; Indiana Rep to Retire; Kentucky Candidate Filing Closes;
No Labels Party Qualifies in Maine

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024

Senate

Wheeling, WVa., Mayor Glenn Elliott (D)

West Virginia: Democratic Candidate Emerges — Wheeling Mayor Glenn Elliott (D), a former staff member for Senate Majority Leader Robert Byrd (D-WV), announced that he will seek the Democratic nomination for the open seat that Sen. Joe Manchin (D) is vacating. Though a long shot to overtake favored Republican candidate Jim Justice, the state’s two-term governor, the Democrats now appear to have a credible candidate to fill the major void that Sen. Manchin leaves for his party. Also in the Republican Senate primary is US Rep. Alex Mooney (R-Charles Town).

House

IN-8: Rep. Larry Bucshon (R) to Retire — Continuing the recent cascade of House retirements, seven-term Indiana Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-Evansville) announced that he will not seek re-election later this year. Bucshon becomes the 43rd member leaving the House, and the 19th Republican. This is another seat that will be non-competitive in the general election, however.

The 8th District, formerly one of the most hotly contested seats in the country to the point it was nicknamed “the Bloody Eighth,” is no longer a domain that produces close general election results and a large number of incumbent defeats. In his seven successful elections, Rep. Bucshon averaged 61.7 percent of the vote and has broken the 60 percent threshold in his last five consecutive campaigns.

IN-8 occupies the southwest corner of Indiana, bordering Kentucky on the south and Illinois on the west. The two largest population centers are the cities of Evansville and Terre Haute. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates IN-8 as the second-safest Republican seat in the Hoosier State at R+36. The Daily Kos Elections site ranks the district as the 50th-safest seat in the Republican Conference.

With Reps. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City) running for the Senate and Reps. Victoria Spartz (R-Noblesville) and Bucshon retiring, one-third of Indiana’s nine congressional seats now stand in the open category. The candidate filing deadline is Feb. 9 for the associated May 7 Indiana primary election.

Kentucky: Candidate Filing Closes — One more state, Kentucky, has closed its candidate filing period for the 2024 primary election. With no Senate or governor’s race on the 2024 ballot, the presidential and congressional races will lead the ticket.

All six US House incumbents have political opponents, but Reps. Thomas Massie (R-Garrison) and Hal Rogers (R-Somerset) drew no Democratic general election competition in Districts 4 and 5, respectively. Both have Republican primary opposition. It appears that all six incumbents, five Republicans and one Democrat, will have easy runs in the general election.

States

No Labels Party: Qualifies in Maine; Objecting in Arizona — The No Labels Party announced that they have qualified for a ballot line in Maine, to date increasing the number of states to 13 where they will have ballot presence for the 2024 election.

Conversely, they have also filed suit in Arizona trying to block candidates for offices other than president from using their ballot line. Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes (D) is treating No Labels as the state would any other political party. That is, a registered voter in that party can run for office. It is doubtful that No Labels will be granted a court ruling that allows the party leaders to bar a qualified individual from running under their ballot line.

The states where No Labels has qualified for ballot position are: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Maine, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, South Dakota, and Utah. The party officials claim to have active ballot qualification petition drives underway in an additional 14 unidentified states.

West Virginia Gov. Justice’s Strong Senate Primary Lead; House Retirements Continue; An Armey Makes a Move; Morrisey in Front

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023

Senate

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R)

West Virginia: Gov. Justice Records Strong Primary Lead — American Pulse, surveying for WMOV radio (Nov. 13-14; 414 WV likely Republican primary voters; multiple sampling techniques), sees Gov. Jim Justice developing a commanding lead over US Rep. Alex Mooney (R-Charles Town) in a just-released poll that was conducted in mid-November. This data shows Gov. Justice with a huge 56-20 percent lead over Rep. Mooney in a primary race that is now likely to determine the state’s next US senator. The race drastically changed when Sen. Joe Manchin (D) announced he would not seek re-election. At this point, Democrats do not have a credible announced candidate.

House

MN-3: Rep. Dean Phillips Won’t Seek Re-Election — Three-term Minnesota US Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Plymouth), who is challenging President Joe Biden for the national Democratic nomination, announced yesterday that he would not seek re-election to the House next year. Phillips, said that running for Congress would be “both unproductive and uncomfortable,” and also that it is “time to pass the torch” in terms of representing Minnesota’s 3rd Congressional District.

Rep. Phillips was already facing a Democratic primary challenge due to his move against President Biden. Democratic National Committee member Ron Harris announced for the House seat immediately upon the congressman declaring his presidential candidacy. Several weeks later, state Sen. Kelly Morrison (D-Deephaven) followed suit. We can expect a crowded and contested Democratic nominating convention along with a likely Aug. 13 primary campaign.

The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates MN-3 as D+14. The Daily Kos Elections site ranks the district as the 63rd-most vulnerable seat in the Democratic Conference. Republicans will likely make an effort here, but the eventual Democratic nominee will begin as a clear favorite to win the general election.

TX-26: Former Majority Leader’s Son to Try Again — When Texas US Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Pilot Point/Denton) first won his House seat in 2002, he defeated Scott Armey in a Republican runoff. Armey, then the Denton County Judge (Executive), is the son of former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, who he was attempting to succeed. With Burgess last week announcing his retirement after serving what will be 22 years in the House, the younger Armey again declared his candidacy for the seat during the Thanksgiving break.

The 26th District is solidly Republican (FiveThirtyEight rates it as R+26; Daily Kos Elections Rank shows it as the 96th safest Republican seat), so Rep. Burgess’ successor will almost assuredly be decided in a Republican nomination process that will likely include a May 28 runoff after the March 5 primary. At this point, six Republicans have declared for the seat but so far the field of candidates features no sitting elected official.

Governor

West Virginia: Morrisey Back in Front — The aforementioned American Pulse poll for WMOV radio (see West Virginia Senate above) also tested the Republican sampling universe for the open gubernatorial primary. With Gov. Jim Justice moving into the Senate race, the May 14 GOP primary will very likely decide who will succeed Gov. Justice.

Rebounding from an August MetroNews poll that showed him trailing, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has assumed the lead according to the American Pulse results. In this study, Morrisey, twice elected as AG, leads state Delegate Moore Capito, son of US Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R), 31-23 percent. Secretary of State Mac Warner posts 14 percent in third position with businessman Chris Miller, son of US Rep. Carol Miller (R-Huntington), at 10 percent. While Morrisey has a clear advantage, this poll suggests the race could evolve into a four-way battle as the primary date gets closer.

South Carolina Primary Challenge; Utah Senate Candidates Post-Romney; Manchin Contemplating Party Exit; Census Estimates Released; Former NJ Governor May Return

By Jim Ellis — Monday, Sept. 18, 2023

Senate

Rep. Ralph Norman (R-Rock Hill)

South Carolina: Budding 2026 Primary Challenge — US Rep. Ralph Norman (R-Rock Hill) is confirming reports that he is considering challenging Sen. Lindsey Graham in the 2026 Republican primary. Rep. Norman, elected in a 2017 special election after winning six terms in the state House of Representatives, is a leader in the House Freedom Caucus. If he does run, he will oppose Sen. Graham from the party’s right flank.

Utah: AG Won’t Run — Immediately after Sen. Mitt Romney (R) announced he will not run for re-election, speculation about who might enter the race began running rampant. The two who appear as sure candidates are state House Speaker Brad Wilson (R-Kaysville) and Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs (R). One individual who rather surprisingly has already taken himself out of the Senate race is Attorney General Sean Reyes, who at one time was thought to become a Romney primary challenger. Late last week, Reyes said he will run for re-election as attorney general, thus bypassing the open Senate race.

West Virginia: Manchin Contemplating Party Exit — Reportedly, West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D), who has not yet decided whether to seek re-election, make a third party run for president, or retire from politics, is also contemplating leaving the Democratic Party. Therefore, if he does run for office again a strong possibility exists that he will do so as an Independent.

Sen. Manchin faces a difficult re-election run as the West Virginia Democratic Party’s status has weakened considerably since he was last on the ballot in 2018. The senator was originally elected in a 2010 special election. He has served as West Virginia’s governor, secretary of state, and in both houses of the state legislature, all as a Democrat. West Virginia continues to be rated as the Republican’s top conversion Senate opportunity. Both Gov. Jim Justice and US Rep. Alex Mooney (R-Charles Town) are competing for the Republican nomination.

States

Census: Estimates Released — The Census Bureau has released new population growth statistics for the 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. The fastest growing states for the period ending July 1, 2022, are Florida, Idaho, South Carolina, Montana, and Texas. The states losing the most population are New York, Louisiana, Illinois, California, and West Virginia. The population numbers are determinative to the number of congressional seats each state will possess in the next decade.

Cities

Jersey City, NJ: Former Governor May Return — Jim McGreevey (D), who was elected New Jersey’s governor in 2001 but who resigned because of a hiring scandal and gay love affair before the end of his first term, is contemplating making a political comeback. Apparently, a draft committee is being organized to encourage him to file for the Jersey City mayor’s post when it comes up for election next year.

In addition to being elected governor, McGreevey served as mayor of Woodbridge Township and spent six years in the New Jersey legislature. He has not run for any office since departing politics in 2004.

Justice Still Leading Manchin; Florida Redistricting News; Reeves Rebounds in New Poll; Capito Leading in GOP West Virginia Primary Poll

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2023

Senate

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) trailing in poll.

West Virginia: Poll: Justice Still Leading Manchin — Research America conducted a survey for MetroNews West Virginia that was presented at the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce meeting (Aug. 16-26; 402 registered West Virginia voters; oversample of 337 likely Republican primary voters; live interview) just before the Labor Day break commenced.

The results again find Gov. Jim Justice (R) holding a healthy lead over incumbent Joe Manchin (D) in the Senate ballot test. A majority of 51 percent favors Gov. Justice versus just 38 percent who would vote to re-elect Sen. Manchin. If, however, Rep. Alex Mooney (R-Charles Town) were to defeat the governor in the Republican Senate primary, he would trail Sen. Manchin 45-41 percent in their hypothetical general election pairing.

In the Republican primary, though from a small polling sample (337 respondents), Gov. Justice would hold a substantial 58-26 percent advantage over Congressman Mooney.

The West Virginia Senate race continues to be the top Republican conversion target in the country. Though Sen. Manchin’s approval rating in the state has improved to 51:34 percent favorable to unfavorable according to this survey, a plurality of 40 percent would still like to see him retire as compared to 36 percent who believe he should run for re-election. A total of 24 percent said they feel he should run as a minor party candidate for president.

House

Florida Redistricting: Local Circuit Judge Strikes Down Cong Map — The Sunshine State congressional plan that elected 20 Republicans and only eight Democrats in 2022 has been declared unconstitutional. A Lee County state judge rendered the ruling, tying the map to the recently decided US Supreme Court decision pertaining to the Alabama racial gerrymandering case.

The crux of the disqualification was the elimination of then-Rep. Al Lawson’s (D-Tallahassee) 5th District that stretched all the way from Tallahassee to Jacksonville in order to create a majority minority district. The Republicans, citing the communities of interest argument changed the north Florida configuration into a more compact draw.

The state will likely appeal this ruling. Doing so will mean the final decision on this issue will eventually lie with the Florida Supreme Court justices. Whether a new map will be drawn before the 2024 election is unclear at this point.

Guiding the decision through the state’s appellate system may require a longer period than what remains in the current election cycle, even when considering Florida’s late primary (Aug. 20, 2024) and candidate filing deadline (April 26, 2024).

Governor

Mississippi: Gov. Reeves Rebounds in New Poll — Last week, we reported upon an Impact Research poll conducted for Democrat Brandon Presley’s gubernatorial campaign, which projected that he and Gov. Tate Reeves (R) have fallen into a 46-46 percent tie. Expected was a quick counter poll, and now we have seen such a survey. Siena College, polling for the Mississippi Today news site (Aug. 20-28; 650 likely Mississippi voters; live interview), reported their finding and, contrary to the Impact Research data, suggests that Gov. Reeves holds a 52-41 percent lead over Presley. The Mississippi gubernatorial election is scheduled for Nov. 7.

West Virginia: Poll: Capito Leading GOP Primary — The Research America survey for MetroNews West Virginia that posted Gov. Jim Justice (R) to a 51-38 percent advantage over Sen. Joe Manchin (D), also tested the open Republican gubernatorial primary. Gov. Justice is ineligible to seek a third term in his current position.

The Research America results are very different from a National Research survey conducted back in early March. At that time, the NR data found Attorney General Patrick Morrisey leading the Republican field with 28 percent support. State Delegate Moore Capito (R-Charleston), the son of US Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R), was second with 15 percent.

The new data finds the candidates transposed into an inverted order. Capito has now assumed the lead with 32 percent backing while AG Morrisey has slipped to 23 percent. No other contender even reaches the 10 percent threshold. The West Virginia primary is slated for May 14, 2024.

Miami Mayor Files Presidential Committee; Presidential Candidate Favorable vs. Unfavorable Ratings;
A 4th Dem Enters California Race; Montana Gov’s Primary Challenge

By Jim Ellis — Friday, June 16, 2023

President

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez (R)

Francis Suarez: Miami Mayor Files Presidential Committee — As has been expected for some time, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez filed a presidential committee mid week with the Federal Election Commission and becomes now the tenth Republican candidate. Obviously a long shot who may be positioning himself as a potential vice presidential pick, Mayor Suarez would be attractive to Republicans as a candidate with potential national appeal to the Hispanic community.

YouGov Economist Poll: Mixed Results — The YouGov international online polling firm again conducted one of their extensive periodic surveys for The Economist publication (June 10-13; 1,500 US adults; online), and though a majority of respondents firmly believe former President Donald Trump should have been indicted over the classified documents issue, he would surprisingly still lead President Joe Biden by a percentage point in the national popular vote.

The respondents largely sour over the group of 11 tested potential presidential candidates, however. Only Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (49:30 percent favorable to unfavorable), Sen. Tim Scott (33:25 percent), and Vivek Ramaswamy (26:19 percent) found themselves with positive ratings.

Former Governor Chris Christie had the highest negative rating at 27:51 percent favorable to unfavorable. Ex-Vice President Mike Pence (36:53 percent), Sen. Joe Manchin (26:37 percent), ex-President Trump (43:53 percent), President Biden (45:52 percent), Marianne Williamson (19:24 percent), Gov. Ron DeSantis (41:46 percent), and former Ambassador Nikki Haley (33:34 percent) all followed in the upside-down category.

House

CA-45: Rep. Steel Draws Fourth Dem Challenger — Attorney Jimmy Pham became the fourth Democratic candidate to enter the 2024 congressional race hoping to challenge two-term Rep. Michelle Steel (R-Orange County) in a district that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as D+5.

In addition to Pham, Garden Grove City Councilwoman Kim Nguyen, and attorneys Cheyenne Hunt and Aditya Pai are announced candidates. Community College Trustee Jay Chen, who held Rep. Steel to a 52-48 percent victory in 2022, is a potential re-match contender but has yet to make his 2024 political plans known.

Expect this to be a top Democratic target race. The 45th is one of four California Democratic seats that a Republican represents.

Governor

Montana: Gov. Gianforte to Face Primary Challenge — Without articulating a particular criticism against Gov. Greg Gianforte (R), state Rep. Tanner Smith (R-Lakeside) has announced that he will launch a Republican gubernatorial primary challenge.

Gov. Gianforte, whose job approval ratings are high, does not appear to be vulnerable to any Republican primary challenger. At this point, he would also be rated as a prohibitive favorite to win a second full term in the 2024 general election. The Montana primary is scheduled for June 4, 2024.

Pence to Announce Presidential Campaign Today; Sununu Stays Out of Presidential Race; Manchin Running on No Labels Unlikely; Arizona Sen. Kelly Endorses Teran

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, June 7, 2023

President

Former Vice President Mike Pence (R)

Mike Pence: Files Presidential Campaign Committee — Mike Pence (R), former vice president, Indiana governor, and US congressman, filed his long-awaited presidential campaign committee Monday with the Federal Election Commission and officially announced his campaign today, in Iowa, on his 64th birthday. Though it is difficult to see a path to victory for him with former President Trump and Gov. Ron DeSantis dominating most of the early action, Pence will likely be part of the debates and has performed very well on stage when previously tested.

Also expected to announce their own campaigns for the Republican presidential nomination this week are former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum.

Gov. Chris Sununu: Won’t Run for President — New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R), saying he understands that a crowded Republican presidential field will renominate former President Donald Trump with 35 percent of the vote, announced Monday in an op-ed column that he will not enter the GOP presidential nomination contest.

Sununu said he believes he can best influence the Republican presidential campaign from the outside in his current position as governor of one of the key early primary states. He made it clear his mission is to deny former President Trump renomination and called on other candidates with no clear path to the nomination to also leave the race.

The governor did not indicate whether he would consider a third-party run for president, or if he will seek a fifth term as governor next year.

No Labels Party: Sen. Joe Manchin Again Sending Signals — In an interview with Shannon Bream on Fox News Sunday, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) was once again sending signals that he might be open to a third-party run for president on the No Labels Party ticket. Such an option probably isn’t viable, however.

During the interview, Sen. Manchin said, “If Plan A shows that we’re going to the far reaches of both sides, the far left and the far right, and the people don’t want to go to the far left and the far right, they want to be governed from the middle.” He further stated in response to Bream asking if he would run as a third-party candidate, that he is “not ruling anything in, not ruling anything out.”

Regardless of what Sen. Manchin may want to do, it is unlikely he will become the No Labels Party presidential nominee. The NLP won’t meet until April 14-15 to choose a candidate, and candidate filing in West Virginia ends in late January. Therefore, Sen. Manchin will need to make a decision about his future prior to New Labels choosing any potential presidential candidate.

House

AZ-3: Sen. Kelly Chooses Candidate — Over the weekend Sen. Mark Kelly (D) indicated that his preferred candidate to replace Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Phoenix), who is running against Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I), is former state Senate Minority Leader and ex-Arizona Democratic Party chair Raquel Teran. Four other Democrats are in the race, including Phoenix City Councilwoman Laura Pastor, daughter of former US Rep. Ed Pastor (D), but his relationship with Teran while she guided the Arizona party during his 2022 run for Senate makes her his candidate of choice.

The Phoenix anchored 3rd District is heavily Democratic with a D+44 rating from the FiveThirtyEight data organization. Therefore, Rep. Gallego’s successor will be decided in the Aug. 6, 2024, Democratic primary, thus making Sen. Kelly’s endorsement valuable.

Christie Making Moves; Davidson Declines to Run in Ohio; Manchin Behind in New WVa Poll; Utah’s Rep. Stewart to Resign

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, June 1, 2023

President

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R)

Chris Christie: Ex-New Jersey Gov Making Moves to Enter Presidential Race — Published reports are indicating that allies of former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) are forming a Super PAC to aid his budding presidential efforts. After the PAC is formed, it is believed Christie will enter the race within the next two weeks, thus bringing the Republican field to at least seven candidates with another four likely to step forward.

Polling suggests, however, that regardless of the number of entries, only two, former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, consistently break into double digits. It is also clear, just as it was in 2016, that the large field helps Trump since he has the strongest base within the Republican primary voter universe.

Senate

Ohio: Rep. Davidson Won’t Run for Senate — Citing the closeness of the House Republican majority through the next election, Ohio Rep. Warren Davidson (R-Troy) announced that he will not join the US Senate race to oppose incumbent Sherrod Brown (D) but will seek re-election to his 8th District House seat. Davidson was first elected in a 2016 special election to replace former House Speaker John Boehner (R).

Though it appeared that Rep. Davidson was preparing to enter the race, he said his decision not to do so was based upon the amount of time that a statewide campaign would take away from his House duties. In the Senate race are state Sen. Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls), a 2022 Senate candidate who is a minority owner of the Cleveland Guardians Major League Baseball Club, and businessman Bernie Moreno, who Ohio Sen. J.D. Vance endorsed last week. Expected to join the campaign next month is GOP Secretary of State Frank LaRose. The Ohio Senate race promises to be one of the most competitive in the nation.

West Virginia: New Poll: Manchin Way Behind — East Carolina University released the results of their new West Virginia political poll (May 22-23; 957 registered West Virginia voters; live interview; interactive voice response system; online) and the ballot test results post Gov. Jim Justice to a major 54-32 percent lead over Sen. Joe Manchin (D). If Rep. Alex Mooney (R-Charles Town) were to win the Republican nomination, he would fall into a toss-up battle with Sen. Manchin, leading 42-41 percent according to this survey.

If these polling results continue, Sen. Manchin may find that running for the office of president on the No Labels Party ticket may be his best political option.

House

UT-2: Rep. Chris Stewart Prepares to Resign — Six-term Utah US Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Farmington), who at one time was thought to be interested in launching a gubernatorial or US Senate campaign, is reportedly preparing to resign from the House possibly by the end of this week. Stewart’s wife’s ongoing health situation is the reason he will be leaving his position.

Gov. Spencer Cox (R) will set the special primary and general election calendar within seven days of Rep. Stewart officially resigning. The 2nd District political parties will first meet in a special district convention to select a candidate. The individual candidate eventually receiving majority support from the voting delegates will advance into the primary.

Other candidates may petition onto the ballot. A general election will then follow. It is probable the special general will be held Nov. 7, 2023, concurrently with municipal elections in the state.